THE Queen has appointed Dame Mary Fagan to be a Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

Dame Mary was Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire for many years and Chancellor of Winchester University from 2006-2014.

Responding to the news, Prof Joy Carter, vice-chancellor of the university, said: “Lady Mary is a dear friend and supporter of this university.

“Under her leadership and continued support, the University of Winchester has cemented its place as a university of choice for thousands of students and has grown into an important pillar in the city and region.

“We are thrilled and incredibly proud that Lady Mary has received this immense and well-deserved honour,” added Prof Carter.

While Lady Mary was Chancellor, the university grew and developed significantly, building on and enhancing its reputation nationally and internationally.

Major new building developments, including the RIBA award-winning University Centre building at Sparkford Road, took place and opened during her time and Lady Mary developed the university’s links to support educational development in the Gambia.

As Chancellor, Lady Mary oversaw nine graduation ceremonies in the cathedral, shaking the hands of thousands of graduates.

One of these ceremonies was particularly significant, when the university gave honorary degrees to hundreds of students who had studied at King Alfred’s College, its forerunner.